A study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey found that some treatment plants servicing pharmaceutical factories discharged sewage with traces of opiates and other drugs at "much higher detection frequencies and concentrations" than medicine residues identified in other treatment facilities. Separate research led by the Environmental Protection Agency learned that a treatment plant that handles sewage from Pfizer's Kalamazoo, Mich., facility collected unusually high concentrations of the antibiotic lincomycin.

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